I have always hoped that my kids would grow up understanding the importance of being “authentic”. I think that is a word that may have many meanings to depending on your perspective; genuine, not fake or false, an original/not a copy, something has significance perhaps. Authentic shouldn’t be confused with “original” though, since we all are original, no two exactly alike. We are all God’s people because of that difference.
But to me, people who are authentic have conviction to be who they are because they are aware of themselves. Sure, over the years of growing up and even in adulthood we continue to try to emulate others; like our heroes, our parents, our mentors in living and faith, even our closest and dearest friends and lovers. And we should. Like I said in a previous post, I think we are a mosaic of all the people we have had contact with that have influenced us (good or bad). But we get to decide in the final pass what that means. It is our internal psyche that is going to accept or deny the picture of who we are.
But really didn’t want to take scientific route, I am just expecting my children to continue to be authentic. Be aware of others around them, who they are and what might have brought those people to that moment in time to intersect with our lives. But be genuine then. Be right with yourself. I laugh as I remember when they were growing up how they would desperately need to wear clothes and have their hair like their favorite rock stars. They would wear the latest anti-fashions, say words they could only have heard from other places. They would call others “posers”, when in fact they were themselves. But as they got older things changed outwardly, and hair and clothes changed with them. But always as parents we always asked them to remain true to themselves.
So I keep thinking “be authentic”. Start by being real, start by not lying to yourself about things in your life and how you treat others. Start by depending on your spiritual compass to make positive decisions. Kind of like the accountability scale I posted a while back, you have to be able to admit your mistakes, own your own situation. Then treat others that way. The adage “do onto others…” I think means being genuine to yourself first, and then to the people around you. No matter if those people are only a moment in your life as you travel through it, or family, or intended to be a lifelong dear friends… treat them authentically.